Sunday, May 20, 2012

You can't explain eclipses!

I'm not sure if anybody else has ever heard this argument before, but I have.  Some religious believers have actually argued that the fact that the Moon is the perfect size to cover the Sun during a solar eclipse is evidence of an intelligent designer.  If I do not acknowledge this coincidence, then I'm apparently "ignoring evidence".

The standard rebuttal that I have seen to this argument is that because the Moon is moving slowly away from Earth, that it is only at this particular point in time that we can see total solar eclipses.  In the future, the Moon will appear too small from Earth to have total eclipses anymore.

I also want to point out that the Moon is NOT ALWAYS the correct size to create this phenomenon.  This week many people on Earth will be able to see an annular eclipse, which occurs when the Moon is at a spot in its orbit around Earth which makes it too small to completely cover the Sun, and will appear inside it.  Isn't this strange?  I mean, if it was intelligently designed, I'd expect the following things:

1.  That the Moon and Sun would always be the correct size for the magnificent total solar eclipse spectacle

2.  That many more people on the planet would be able to see these demonstrations of greatness, as opposed to the very limited number of people who can see them now

3.  That the experience would not be absolutely ruined for so many people by simple cloudy weather

If eclipses are meant to be a display of greatness and wonder, as the IDiots argue, then why is it so limited by these factors?  As usual, what we see is more in line with what we'd expect if this was just a natural phenomenon.

To all of you in the eclipse path, clear skies!!!!